When a Story’s Too Big for the Page

  • Post category:Writing

The more I poke at the outline for this year’s NaNoWriMo novel, the more it tangles in on itself. Right now I have three distinct groups of people each of who have their own storyline that eventually entangles with the others. (There are also two subgroups that may or may not evolve into primary groups as well.)

Much of these storylines are happening simultaneously and I’m not sure how to present them in a way that will make sense to readers…

Tunnel Vision vs. Widescreen

I’m planning on using a third person omniscient because of the scope, but I’m also tinkering with the idea of using third person limited or even first person to interject bits of the overarching power struggle between notPeter and notWendy.

Third person omniscient is a fertile playing ground for hopping around, since it’s not dependent on any one fictive the story can move at will.

I could narrow the focus down to any of these groups through the overall arc and end up with something decent, I think. Each of them has their own themes and driving motivations, which interweave with the other groups without being subsumed by them.

But choosing only one subset to follow would leave a lot of the supporting elements on the cutting room floor. I’m not sure how much I can leave out without killing off the story I want to tell.

On the flip side, I’m not sure how long a reader will put up with ‘Meanwhile in Party C….’

Mud Pies and Once Upon a Time

I know NaNo is a place for very rough drafts, but I’m trying to get a basic outline in place in order to fend off the coming writers’ block. Without knowing how to approach the story and it’s convoluted storylines I’m left staring at a blank piece of paper.

I can’t decide if I should just outline everything and trim off the spare branches in later revisions, or start with the important bits and then go back and branch out from the trunk as needed. I know the general shape of the story—I’m just not sure if it’s supposed to be a tree or a shrub.

*pokes story*

Ah well, I still have, erm, twenty days left to figure it out! ^_~;;

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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